2 min read

Successful Indie Hackers Build "Info Software Products"

Name is mine, but credit goes to Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers. On the podcast with Pieter Levels, he says:

I think for any topic that people really care about but where it’s also hard for them to do research, you can do all of that research for them and put it in one place, and essentially create a site like Nomad List or Indie Hackers.

And it’s going to look different depending on what the topic is, so with digital nomads what you made was a grid of cities with numerical data that makes it easy to compare one city to another. With Indie Hackers it’s a list of interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve already done what you’re trying to do, and Product Hunt is just a daily list of the newest products. I think from an outside perspective, they all look very different but it’s the same underlying principle of just taking data that people really care about and compiling it, putting it into a useful format all in one place.

Now, when I think information product, I usually think ebooks, online courses, coaching, etc. But in a sense, the original ideas behind Indie Hackers, Nomad List, Product Hunt, are all information products too: info software products.

When you make a traditional info product, you don’t spend much. You can often make it by yourself, and you get to keep most of the money. Same for an info software product, which at its most basic, is just a website that shows a list of information.

This is a great fit for a bootstrapped indie hacker. He or she’s got the programming skill, but not any capital.

An info software product idea I had:

Overseas List, an overseas software engineering job list. Like Breakout List.

Anyway, Courtland Allen goes on to say the next move, is to build a community around that product, then build features for that community. Indie Hackers, Nomad List, and Product Hunt certainly did that. This is super interesting. I don’t think I understand the significance of this yet.

Other business patterns

To me, a business pattern is usually of the form, Uber for X. But replace with Uber with another company, or with a pattern name.

A pattern for traditional information product entrepreneurs: online courses! Often, people move from coaching to online courses.

Online courses are supposed to be the holy grail, see:


Quickapply for X could be a business pattern.

Wherever there are cumbersome forms, you can build a service to automate it away. Automate away Common App. Or applying for U.S. Citizenship, or Indian passport renewal. Or FAFSA. All cumbersome forms.

Also, code library for X is a business pattern. That’s how Segment started. I haven’t given this much thought, but maybe there’s something here.

Any other business patterns I’m missing?!?

Unfortunately, there is no comment section for your response, but I will work on that.